A major upgrade is headed for the Google Home app, with Google announcing the changes this week, which is fitting considering we’re getting a few new Google devices this week. The company has already unveiled a couple new Nest devices, with the Pixel 7 lineup and Pixel Watch coming next.
Inside this upgraded Google Home experience, Google is putting more emphasis on camera feeds and initial device setup/connection. Google keeps it real by saying, “Setting up a smart light bulb can feel like it requires an engineering degree.” I’ve never felt more seen. With Fast Pair for Matter, which is a relatively new smart home connectivity standard, Google imagines a world where all smart home things can be plug and play. With this latest update to the Google Home experience, your Android phone will instantly recognize when a Matter deice is plugged in, then a simple process via the app will have your device up and running in no time at all. It’s just like Fast Pair for wireless earbuds, quick and painless.
Google specifically calls out its past hardware in that they will be updated to support the new standard. Google says, “We’re also updating our existing Google Nest smart speakers, smart displays and routers to control Matter devices.”
And now with everything getting smart and connected, Google is introducing a better way to organize things. For starters, there’ll be a favorites list for select devices you need quickened access to, plus we can start grouping things by category and area as well. This new layout can be viewed in the image above, with sections for Pets/Kids/Garden now possible. Custom spaces are slated to arrive next year.
For Nest camera users, this is a big upgrade. According to Google’s release, users can scroll through hours of video history in seconds and with the help of machine learning capabilities built into the devices you install, important events will be labeled and organized by type, such as person, package, vehicle, activity or animal. It should make finding that moment you’re looking for that much easier. Google says that its Nest legacy cameras should also see this support in 2023.
Home automation is also getting a ton of love in this new app. There will now be a dedicated tab for home automation, allowing users a better overview of exactly what their home is going to do at any given time of day. For example, if you leave for work, you’ll be able to see that all of your lights are off, doors are locked, and thermostat is set to Eco mode. For the automation experts among us, Google has also introduced a script editor that is set to go live in early 2023. As you can see above, this new editor will allow for a much more comprehensive control over what your smart devices can do and when they do it. This will easily lead to some amazing things and I can’t wait.
Google announced that the Google Home experience is coming to the web and Wear OS, too. So, moving forward, no matter where you are and you forgot to set the temperature or need to see a camera feed, you’ll be able to do so.
Google details that a public preview of this new experience will be available soon for people to test before it’s pushed out to all users. Check here every now and then to ensure you get in when the preview period opens.
Looks pretty sweet, yeah?